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The Making of a Chef Audiobook

The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America

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Publisher's Summary

In the ultimate food-lover's fantasy, journalist Michael Ruhlman dons chef's jacket and houndstooth-check pants to join the students in Skills One at the Culinary Institute of America, the most influential cooking school in the country. His goal is to document the training of America's chefs from the first classroom to the Culinary's final kitchen, the American Bounty Restaurant. The result becomes more than a rote reportage of a school for cooks. Ruhlman learns to cook as though his future depends upon it, and this complete immersion enables him to create the most vivid and energetic memoir of a culinary education on record.

©1997 by Michael Ruhlman; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (241 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (77)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (117 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (113 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    James Outlaw, Jr Memphis, TN United States 03-05-13
    James Outlaw, Jr Memphis, TN United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull narration"
    What did you like best about The Making of a Chef? What did you like least?

    The story was interesting, however the narrator's performance was dreadful. He spoke in a complete monotone.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Making of a Chef?

    The descriptions of the curriculum and the preparation that goes into a restaurant meal was very interesting.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narration was dull. The narrator seemed to be doing a cold reading of the text. There were awkward pauses (probably poor editing) and it was next to impossible to determine which character was supposed to be speaking.


    Did The Making of a Chef inspire you to do anything?

    Not really, I was just interested in the subject and thought it would be a good "read".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard ucson, AZ, United States 12-27-12
    Richard ucson, AZ, United States 12-27-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really turned out to be a dud."
    Would you try another book from Michael Ruhlman and/or Jeff Riggenbach?

    Not likely.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Narrative boring. No climactic finish.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Monotone basically. Errors/corrections. No character vocal changes.


    What character would you cut from The Making of a Chef?

    Need a better narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brigette Lewisville, TX, United States 01-25-12
    Brigette Lewisville, TX, United States 01-25-12 Member Since 2010

    brigettem

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
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    Story
    "Story is interesting but...."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but only in print format.


    What didn’t you like about Jeff Riggenbach’s performance?

    His performance is so wooden. There are odd pauses and weird inflections throughout, and no differentiation between various people in the book. I finally realized who he reminded me of - the guy who does the English translations on Iron Chef, only not as much personality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ferguson 09-04-11
    Ferguson 09-04-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great content, didn't like the narration"

    I really liked this book but I found the narrator irritating. He has a voice better suited for reading news.The problem is that since this book was published, Michael Ruhlman has become a well know food celebrity. He should do this audio book over and read it himself. He has a great voice. I bought Medium Raw and if anyone but Tony Bourdain had read it I would have been very disappointed. It wasn't a horrible experience but it always took me a few minutes to get used to the voice when rejoining the book. If Ruhlman read this book I would buy it a second time for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie S. Bethesda, MD, United States 06-08-11
    Carrie S. Bethesda, MD, United States 06-08-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Don't operate heavy machinery while listening"

    I never fully appreciated the contribution of a narrator until I tried to listen to this book. Painfully, mind-numbingly boring.....so bad that Audible may wish to review whether this is a book it wants to keep offering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simca Alexandria, VA 02-21-06
    Simca Alexandria, VA 02-21-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "A Travesty"

    I read this book several years ago, along with its successor "The Soul of a Chef" - thoroughly enjoyed both, have recommended them to friends, and purchased several as gifts. What a disappointment to hear the audio version. This narrator is TERRIBLE - there are awkward pasues throughout the narration, and inexcusable mispronunciations of basic cooking terms and place names (Barnard College pronounced as "Bernard" eg) For a book that so passionately conveys the pursuit of perfection, its a shame that the narrator didn't bother to do minimal homework. Read the books, skip this audio. And a note to Mr. Ruhlman: if "Soul of a Chef" is going to be made into an audiobook, please narrate it yourself or get a food professional to do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Charlotte, NC, USA 02-15-06
    Ken Charlotte, NC, USA 02-15-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
    "Brown Sauce"

    Interesting insight into the making of a cook and chef (they aren't the same, I learned). A bit long winded at times, but worth the time.

    Audio quality is pretty dismal in places. Whoever they've got splicing these tapes together really did a crummy job. Nothing is missing, but it is annoying. A less forgiving person would have tried to get his credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Alameda, CA, USA 05-13-04
    Eric Alameda, CA, USA 05-13-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    3
    1
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    0
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    "Interesting topic, but poorly written and read"

    One would think this book would be more interesting. The world of the student chef is complex and intricate, with many idiosyncrasies to discover and, if you're something of epicure as I am, splendid details to relish as they are revealed and described in eye-witness precision. Unfortunately, this book is simply a collection of journal notes and linear entires, without a clear sense of progression or arc of narrative. It has all the energy of an Audio Blog. I never knew where this "story" was going to end and could have finished after almost any chapter. More annoying is the pedantic and stilted voice of Riggenbach, the reader. I would have hoped this reader would have better researched his subject matter, but too many mispronunciations (like "no-chee" for gnocchi and "coo-liss" for coulis) undermine the attention to detail which Ruhlman gives to this culinary setting. Early in the book, Ruhlman sets up cookery as something of philosophical observation for life and finding one's way in the world. He just doesn't pay it off. I finished unsatisfied and hungry for more.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 07-31-11
    David 07-31-11 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2052
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    "A dry journey through the culinary world"

    I am not a "foodie" and I'm a lousy cook, but I love cooking shows, the Food Channel, and interesting books about food and cooking. This is not an interesting book about food and cooking.

    Ruhlman is a writer who went to chef school (at the Culinary Institute of America, America's premiere cooking school) to write about it, but one of his teachers told him he wasn't a real chef. This pissed Ruhlman off, so he decided to prove he could become a real chef, and he went through the whole program with as much determination as any of the other students.

    This could be an interesting saga, especially written by a professional writer, but instead it reads like the journal of a cooking school student. He tells us about his classes, his teachers, his services, now and then rambles a bit about brown sauce or tells us something about one of his fellow students, and just keeps going like that all the way to the end. There are no interesting facts or surprising revelations about food or cooking school, just a very dry, matter-of-fact account of the industry. Ruhlman's writing is journalistic and without personality.

    I suppose if you're thinking about going to cooking school, this is a good book to get a taste of what it's like. But compared to, for example, Trevor Corson's The Story of Sushi or one of Anthony Bourdain's books, this book was just dull.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Holland, PA, USA 08-24-09
    Kenneth Holland, PA, USA 08-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    42
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Just okay..."

    This book could have been even better had the author cut half of it out. The book seems solely made for individuals in the restaurant biz, which I am. But I found it a little too textbook at times.

    The narrator is not as terrible as others have mentioned. He is dry and offers no different character voices, but he reads it well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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